Drug Addiction and the Family

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					                  Drug Addiction and the Family

What are the effects of addiction on the family?

The unfortunate form of corrupting nature of drug addiction is -that it has the ability to
penetrate in to the individual’s personal life and family, even before the addict is able to
understand that he needs help with his addiction abuse problem. The addict family is often
the first place that gets subverted from its normal life cycle. The loved ones get to see the
first hand, how the drug addiction can deteriorate a person from a respectable human being
to reduced individual who desperately needs help in the fight with his drug addiction and

The most difficult aspect of drug addiction recovery is to be able to separate your love and
unconditional support, from what may be for their benefit or advantage. The similar analogy
is how you treat a child sometimes; if they do something wrong, you have to be able to not
only recognize inappropriate behavior, but also be able to reprimand a child , thus teaching
him a lesson, so he doesn’t repeat the same mistake. At times it’s hard to stand up to your
principals, because you might feel bad or feel sorry for a child or a person, however you
have to recognize the fact that if you do not act on it properly, you will become an enabler of
bad behavior or any type of addiction. By using a “tough love method” you will be able to
inhibit and discourage a person from his addiction, and help them in their journey to full
In many cases the loved ones just “look the other way”, so that they can avoid the
confrontation and fights, that can turn in to a domestic abuse. If both partners are weak and
in denial about one’s addiction problem, it will lead to self destruction and serious

Being by one’s side to help them with their addiction problem is one thing, however it is not
enough to help the addict to stop using the drugs or completely recover from them. There
are different intervention programs available, where a certified professional will coach you
and other loved ones to bring the addict to the point of surrender.

There is nothing wrong with welcoming a third party assistance in to your personal life; it will
allow you to step back and watch the professional take the appropriate measures and steps
to bring the addict to his complete recovery. Your job is to be by the addict side as his moral
and emotional support. If the addict is placed in to the rehab center, he will undergo
substance abuse treatment as well as counseling therapy.

In many cases the intervention might create uncomfortable scenarios for you, where you
might feel you are not able to perform or be involved, as a part of “tough love” method,
However, you have to be strong and are able to accept directions from a rehab specialists,
and make an effort to cooperate with all of the, unpleasant at times, treads of intervention.

Keep in mind that you might receive a lot of resistance from the addict, and at times he
might even refuse the treatment at some point. However, you need to accept the fact that
you have gone above and beyond to help him, and you stood by him every step of the
way. You need to know you’ve done your best!

In many cases the families choose “financial tough love” as the approach for drug
addictions and family. As an example provided by ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, in
the article by By JOHN QUINONES and CHRISTINE BROZYNA on Feb. 15, 2010, it
discusses a family crises taken place in the American figures skater Nancy Kerrigan’s
” A private family crisis played out for the world to see. The brother of American figure
skater Nancy Kerrigan is now accused of killing his own father in an alcohol induced rage.
Mark Kerrigan’s problems with addiction have been ongoing for years. His parents
even sued their son for more than $100,000, reportedly to push him toward recovery.
It’s a dramatic show of financial tough love, but is it always the right approach?”

Another example is an unfortunate situation of the famed environmental crusader’s
daughter, Erin Brockovich:
    ” Two years ago, Erin Brockovich, the famed environmental crusader played by Julia
    Roberts in a 2000 movie, faced a similar situation with her own daughter. Elizabeth, then
    16-years-old, was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Her $500 a week drug habit was funded
    by money stolen from the family.
    “As a parent, you want to believe your kid, yet you know something’s wrong,” Brockovich
    said. “I’ve cried myself to sleep. And I’ve honestly sat and shook in a corner.”

    When to Step In

    Sack advises that the time to use tough love approach is when the person is ignoring you.
    “Then you have to say, ‘We love you very much, but we’re not going to spend money so you
    can go buy drugs and end up in a worst predicament. We’re not going to support your
    habit,’” Sack said. “So it means no money, no car, no food, no shelter because ultimately
    those are the things that can be converted to drugs.”

    According to the Chicago Tribune article, “Effects of Substance Abuse on Families”, Family
    Therapy is considered a valuable resource for recovery for family members with drug and
    alcohol addictions:

    “Family Therapy

    According to the “Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy” guide, family therapy is
    a good resource for recovery for family members with drug and alcohol addictions.

    How can family therapy help me?

          Your family’s strengths and resources can help you find ways to live without alcohol
    and drug addiction.
          You and your family will be better able to deal with the impact of detoxification, the
    process of cleansing your body from an addiction.
          Your family will become more aware of their own needs and feel that they can
    express their needs safely.
          The next generation in your family will be less likely to carry on your addiction.
          If you have lost custody of your children, you will be better able to overcome your
    addiction and reconnect with your family.
    What should I know about family therapy?

          Make sure you find the right therapist or counselor and that you’re upfront about why
    your family is going to therapy. Family therapists often don’t screen for substance abuse,
    while substance abuse counselors need proper training and licensing to practice family
          If there is any physical or emotional abuse in the family, family counseling
    techniques are not an option, because family members must be protected.”

    For immediate help call : (855) 829-9148


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